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Same or Different?

Okay. People have commented on reading books over again and listening to pieces of music over and over again. (See the Comments, below, on Rereading + J.D.) I’m curious to know more about what movies people have seen multiple times. Is there something you’ll watch every time it comes on TV? It’s a Wonderful Life, anyone?

I imagine I’ve seen The Wizard of Oz more than any other movie. I don’t know how many times, but it must be more than 10. My husband, Film Buff Extraordinaire, can’t think of a film he’s seen 10 times. He’s seen his favorite, Shane, a lot, and he’ll see his second favorite, Late Spring by the Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu, again this weekend. (Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, 2/4 @ 8:20; 2/5 @ 7:30) He guesses he’s seen it, maybe, 7 or 8 times. (He likes Kurosawa, too, but maybe not as much as Joel.)

Late Spring definitely deserves many viewings. It’s beautiful and moving.  It’s one of those works (John puts Orson Welles’s The Magnificent Ambersons in this category, too) where your perspective changes as you get older; the regrets and grief of passing time affect you more deeply. As Jane said in her comment about The Mixed-Up Files, you find yourself, as you age, identifying with the parents instead of the kids. This is certainly true of Late Spring, a story about an elderly father and his adult daughter.

So when you see a movie again, or reread a book, you’re not having the same experience. It’s changed, because you’re a different person. But maybe with a sentimental favorite, like Casablanca or The Wizard of Oz, you’re hoping for the exact same experience you’ve had before?

3 Comments

  1. Joel Couch wrote:

    At the end of the film version of The Last Picture Show, the teenage boy comes crawling back to see his adulterous, middle-aged lover. She is giving him an earful because of all of the distress that she has experienced while he has stayed away. He wordlessly just reaches out and takes her hand very gently and looks into her face. This tiny act of his causes her to erupt in tears of joy.

    That scene just puts me away. It shows us something so clearly about the human situation that words would have a hard time relating so plainly.

    I might not have watched that film so carefully except for the fact that John E. took it seriously. Thanks John!

    Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 10:31 am | Permalink
  2. Kathy Ewing wrote:

    Is that Jeff “Crazy Heart” Bridges?

    Speaking of which, I would see “Crazy Heart” again.

    Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Permalink
  3. Joel Couch wrote:

    No, Timothy Bottoms. Jeff Bridges was in it though.

    Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 11:19 am | Permalink

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